Background: In the United States, one-third of pregnancies result in a cesarean delivery. In subsequent pregnancies, mothers must decide whether to pursue a vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC) or a repeat cesarean delivery. Pregnant women frequently turn to the Internet for support and information. Methods: We analyzed 300 posts from a popular online discussion board created for pregnant women who are in the process of deciding to have a VBAC and compared them to 300 posts from a discussion board for pregnant women in general. Results: Women contemplating a VBAC sought more information on health care providers, more information about labor and delivery, and actively sought birth narratives from other women. Over one-third of VBAC posters shared a birth story, whereas this activity was rare on the general discussion board. Activity on the VBAC board suggested more involvement in the online community (longer entries and more feedback). Conclusions: Many women considering VBAC seek a substantial amount of information and emotional support from online discussion boards. Knowledge of information sought can assist health care providers in more fully meeting the needs of VBAC candidates.
- Content analysis
- Online discussion boards
- Pregnant women
- Vaginal birth after a cesarean